Mexico's top security official says top drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has escaped through a 1-mile tunnel that opened into the floor of the shower area of his cell. Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido tells a news conference today that Guzman used an elaborate escape hatch built allegedly without the detection of authorities. The hatch featured a ladder, reports the Economist, which connected to the ventilated, lighted tunnel, where a motorbike on rails awaited; Guzman had previously escaped prison in 2001, and was reportedly slipped out while hidden in a laundry cart.
With his escape Guzman has done what Mexican authorities promised would not happen after his re-capture last year—to slip out of a maximum security prison for the second time. Rubido says 18 employees from various part of the Altiplano prison 56 miles west of Mexico City have been taken in for questioning. A manhunt remains under way for Guzman, head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel. The organization has an international reach and is believed to control most of the major crossing points for drugs at the US border with Mexico. AP journalists near the Altiplano report that the roads are being heavily patrolled by Federal Police, who had also set up checkpoints. Flights were also suspended at Toluca airport near the penitentiary in the State of Mexico. (Read more drug lords stories.)